Fowler Middle School

Fowler Staff and First Responders Recognized for Life-Saving Efforts

Oct 16, 2014

Sood with Fowler Principal Donnie WisemanGopal Sood says he feels indebted to the people who came to his rescue earlier this year.

“I feel very blessed to be part of this community,” he said. “They gave me second life.”

Sood was attending an academic awards ceremony for his son the evening of May 29 when he collapsed in the gym at Frisco ISD’s Fowler Middle School. He suffered a major cardiac arrest.

Immediately, members of the crowd called out for help. Fellow parents and Fowler staff members rushed to his aid, starting CPR.

Fowler Coach Tommy Hill, now an assistant principal at Griffin, ran for one of the school’s automated external defibrillators or AEDs. Principal Donnie Wiseman described what happened next.

“We activated the AED, and as soon it was hooked up to Mr. Sood, it did announce that a shock should be administered and that shock was administered by Bret Willis on our Fowler staff,” Wiseman said. “Within moments of receiving that shock, Mr. Sood had a heart beat again and his vitals were strong and in moments the paramedics arrived to provide the care that he needed.”

Sood later had an angioplasty at Centennial Medical Center, and is now doing well.

“I don’t have words to express my gratitude to these people for saving my life and to Frisco ISD for equipping our schools with these life-saving devices,” he said. “The doctors tell me that I am alive today because of the immediate help that I received from these incredible individuals.”

The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees recognized Sood, as well as the employees and City of Plano first responders who responded to his emergency, during its regular meeting on October 15. Click here to watch video at time code 23:30.

FISD first purchased AEDs for its campuses in 2003. The state legislature required Texas school districts to make them available at each school in 2007.

This was at least the fourth time an AED has played a critical role in saving a person’s life on an FISD campus. In 2007, a nurse and teacher at Liberty High School used one to shock a student who had collapsed in the hallway. In 2011, staff members at Maus Middle School revived student Kylee Shea and in 2012, staff members at Curtsinger Elementary resuscitated art teacher Laverne Forwark.

Sood says his experience has given him a new perspective on life. He wants to give back to the community and educate others about the importance of CPR and AEDs.

He got that chance recently during a visit to Fowler.

“My son was a student. I was right here in that corner when it happened,” Sood told sixth graders in September, pointing across the Fowler gym. “They kept their calm, they didn’t panic and they acted immediately and it’s because of them that I’m standing in front of you today.”

Middle school students from across the District have received hands-only CPR and AED awareness training during physical education classes since the 2012-2013 school year.

Sood shared his experience with students as part of that unit and urged them not to hesitate to help someone in need.

“I want them to know that a few simple actions can truly save someone’s life like they saved mine,” he said.